1682 1683 1684 - 1685 - 1686 1687 1688
1650s 1660s 1670s - 1680s - 1690s 1700s 1710s
Events of 1685
- February 6 – James Stuart, Duke of York becomes James II of England and Ireland and King James VII of Scotland in succession to his brother Charles II (1630–1685), King of Great Britain since 1660. James II and VII reigns to 1688.
- February 18 – Fort St. Louis is established by a Frenchman at Matagorda Bay, thus forming the basis for France's claim to Texas.
- February 20 – René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, intending to establish a colony near the mouth of the Mississippi River, lands with 200 surviving colonists at Matagorda Bay on the Texas coast, believing the Mississippi near (Texas Handbook).
- March – Louis XIV of France passes the "Code Noir", allowing the full use of slaves in the French colonies.
- June 20 – Monmouth Rebellion: James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland declares himself King and heir to his father's Kingdoms as James II of England and Ireland and James VII of Scotland, after already forming his own army and campaigning against his uncle.
- July 6 – Monmouth Rebellion – Battle of Sedgemoor: the armies of King James II of England defeat rebel forces under Monmouth and capture the Duke himself, shortly after the battle.
- July 15 – The Duke of Monmouth is executed at Tower Hill, London.
- August 25 – The Bloody Assizes begin in Winchester; over 1000 of Monmouth's rebels tried and condemned to death or transportation.
- September – The first organised street lighting was introduced in London with oil lamps to be lit outside every tenth house on moonless winter nights.
- October 18–19 – Louis XIV issues the Edict of Fontainebleau, which revokes the Edict of Nantes and declares Protestantism illegal, thereby depriving Huguenots of civil rights.
- The Chinese army of the Qing Dynasty attacks a Russian post at Albazin, during the reigns of the Kangxi Emperor and the dual Russian rulers Ivan V of Russia and Peter I of Russia. The events lead to the Treaty of Nerchinsk.
- Adam Baldridge finds a pirate base at Île Sainte-Marie in Madagascar.
- Roberts, J: History of the World, Penguin, 1994.